Last night’s big fight between GGG, Gennady Golovkin, and Danny Jacobs ended in the most unexpected way possible–with a decision. It was the first time in something like eight or nine years that either fighter had gone the distance. It was an excellent fight–I will stop just short of calling it a great fight–that could have gone either way. Golovkin won a unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 115-112 and the third 114-113.
I wasn’t surprised that the fight was close; as I wrote here, I thought going in that Jacobs had a good chance. What did surprise me was how much bigger Jacobs was than Golovkin. He was taller, with a longer reach, and the television announcers guessed that he outweighed Golovkin at fight time by ten pounds. Golovkin obviously respected Jacobs’s size and strength, and fought much more cautiously than usual.
There was some controversy over the decision, and Jacobs proclaimed loudly that he was robbed. I thought the decision was correct, for several reasons:
1) The Compubox numbers strongly supported Golovkin.
2) Golovkin scored the fight’s only knockdown.
3) The only time other than the knockdown that either fighter was staggered, it was Jacobs.
4) If you thought the winner of the 12th round would take the fight, as HBO’s Harold Lederman did, GGG pretty clearly won it.
Myths of invincibility are always just that–myths. The myth of GGG’s invincibility died last night. A lot of fans who saw last night’s fight would pick Jacobs in a rematch. More to the point, perhaps, is GGG’s projected fight in the fall against Canelo Alvarez, the one middleweight bout that would exceed last night’s in hype.
The Golovkin we saw last night was not the GGG of a few years ago. At this stage of his career, I don’t think he has much of a shot against Alvarez.